Iowa ranks 10th in clean energy, science group says

Central Deborah Gold Mine Bendigo

"Its record of 10, top-10 appearances is the most of any state", said John Rogers, a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of the study's authors.

When it comes to clean energy, Vermont is second only to California, according to a nationwide assessment of states by a national environmental organization.

Progress was so widespread that 35 states demonstrated enough clean-energy momentum to score in the top 10 in at least one metric, while 21 states scored in the top 10 in at least three categories.

The report noted that the support for clean energy was bipartisan, with four of the top 10 states being led by Republican governors, including Vermont, with the other six headed up by Democrats.

All-and-all, the report indicates that the fearless little state is punching well above its weight class, as it leads the nation with carbon reduction targets, hangs neck-and-neck with larger states such as California in energy efficiency (third place).

A combination of drivers could account for the success of renewable energy in a particular state, said Rogers. Iowa ranked first in creating an environment that is friendly to businesses that want to use clean energy such as wind power, third in the rate that renewable energy has been added, and seventh in the portion of power generation that is renewable.

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Noting that MA is one of four states ranked in the top 10 that is headed by a Republican governor, UCS argued that the analysis shows momentum toward clean energy "spans party lines".

Under House Bill 745, the REPS standard would be frozen at the current 6 percent level, but all existing contracts for renewable energy would be honored. "Meanwhile, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island can only be described as going full steam ahead on clean power". The metric that really stole the show with its clean energy jobs sector.

Based on the analysis results, UCS offered a number of recommendations. "Our Administration is committed to ensuring that state government does its part to lead by example".

Another recommendation is for all states to adopt a suite of clean energy policies, something leading states are already pursuing. This could include creating tax credits that accelerate adoption of renewable energy, offering investment or loan guarantees that drive clean energy innovation, and putting a price on carbon emissions.

UCS contended that state leadership is more important now than ever given the Trump administration's stance on climate change and energy policies.

"The federal government isn't off the hook just because many states-and states of all stripes-are leaping ahead", said Rogers.

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